Syria regime says $250m needed for reconstruction

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The Syrian government has earmarked 50 billion Syrian pounds ($250 million) for reconstruction next year in the war-torn country, a pro-regime daily on Monday quoted the prime minister as saying.

"The government has increased its budget spending for emergency aid and reconstruction for 2014 to 50 billion Syrian pounds," Wael al-Halqi said in remarks published by Al-Watan newspaper.

In 2013, the government budget for aid and reconstruction was 30 billion pounds, he said.

Halqi also called for an increased budget allocation for agriculture, Al-Watan said.

"Food, energy and drug security are a priority," he said.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme last week warned they are alarmed by the drop in Syria's food security index.

In 30 months, Syria's war has killed more than 110,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes.

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